I never cease to be amazed at the number of Junior Carpenter sets we sell – certainly one of our most popular toys. Although it shouldn’t really be described as a toy because these are real tools that really work, and certainly should be used under supervision, at least to start with.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason for these sets’ popularity. They are to be used “to start with”. They are bought by people who want their children to develop practical skills that they can use throughout their lives. The tool-kits are an introduction to woodworking, which is as popular a hobby as it ever was, and one that is invaluable throughout life. And it’s fun too.
The tools themselves have to be considered as “to start with” as well. There’s a good selection in the set – a junior saw, a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers and a mallet. There’s even a small plane and some sandpaper. The tools all work, but eventually they’ll need to be updated, although some may last a lifetime. I still use my first hammer from a set my father put together for me in about 1958. Don’t remind me how long ago that is. I used those tools incessantly then, and I don’t believe I had much supervision, sawing up bits of wood and knocking them together with nails. There was a particularly unattractive and unsuccessful chair I recall. I didn’t think it was dangerous, sawing and hammering on my own, but I guess it was a bit risky at seven years old.
I think that’s another reason why these sets are so popular. It’s no coincidence that “The Dangerous Book For Boys” has been a bestseller. Many people are anxious that this generation of children are being cocooned, maybe over protected, and when will they ever face and assess risk for themselves? Perhaps that’s being over-dramatic, and no doubt today’s children will make perfectly good adults. And I know for sure that thousands of them will be very proficient carpenters.